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Case Study

Building FP&A Tools in a Complex Data Environment

Team Size
1 Managing Director, 1 Director, 1 Associate
Project Duration
5 months

The Situation

A higher education enterprise focused on enrollment management and fundraising had scaled up through a series of acquisitions. The Company engaged Accordion to build their budget plan, develop an upgraded forecasting tool, and diagnose the ERP system effectiveness within finance & operations. The Company had a complex contract & financial database, and previous budgets and forecasts were lacking in their ability to aggregate information into a concise, detailed, and useful prognostication. In addition, management required better analytics to make impactful decisions.


Integrated Profitability Analytics

Budgeting & Forecasting Process Improvement

ERP/ Financial System Execution

The Execution

  • Created deep diagnostics & recommendations behind existing budgeting & forecasting processes and the ERP data storage framework – identifying anecdotes, root causes, and key corrective themes.
  • Quarterbacked a comprehensive budget plan and process by organizing constant and clear communication with all relevant stakeholders and managing an iterative budget in partnership with FP&A, sales, operations, and leadership.
  • Built repeatable and documented budgeting & forecasting tools which incorporated complex contract data, utilization data, and financial data from disparate systems.
  • Identified operational improvement initiatives and their resultant impact on key financial metrics – including revenue, profitability, cash flow, and covenant projections.
  • Built analytic tools with ability to extract data in a familiar format for the FP&A team to aggregate and perform reporting & analysis.
  • Created template reporting with a focus on product-level margins and key cost categories and liaised with IT leaders to integrate and populate this new reporting.
  • Presented performance improvement ideas for the Company to consider – including cost optimization, more useful operating metrics, and ERP optimization recommendations.

The Results

Through the partnership with Accordion, the Company achieved two key outcomes. Firstly, the Company developed budgeting & forecasting tools & processes which enhanced visibility, decision making speed, and reporting/analytics for all stakeholders. The sales, finance, and operations teams were provided timelier and more impactful financial and analytical information so that corrective actions could be taken sooner. Finally, through performance improvement ideas and diagnostics, our team illuminated multiple operating improvements and potential investments to unlock value in the Company.